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Academic Integrity

The vast majority of students who cheat do not set out to do so at the start of their studies. Here we break down how it can end up happening, and what you can do to ensure it doesn’t happen to you.

Firstly, workload stress, fear of failure and poor time management can play a role – particularly coming up to a deadline or exam when a student suddenly feels ill-prepared. In Trinity, there are many different types of supports to students to help you understand and prepare for assignments and exams – including getting familiar with types of assignment and academic writing that may be new to you. You are encouraged early on in their studies to engage with workshops and 1:1 supports offered by Student Learning Development. Remember also, that extensions may also be possible for some assignments – ask your lecturer if this would be possible. Trinity’s Student Counselling Service are there to help you manage the stress of university workload as well as other mental health concerns. If you would rather speak to a fellow student in confidence, S2S offer student-to-student peer support.

Secondly, students coming from different educational backgrounds can have different understandings of Academic Integrity Policies, particularly rules around plagiarism and collaboration. Be sure to familiarise yourself with Trinity’s Academic Integrity Policies, and, if in doubt, reach out! No one will judge you for asking questions. Ask your Academic Tutor or the trainers at Student Learning Development.

Thirdly, at the university level, there is more trust and less monitoring than you may be used to. You may have heard of others being dishonest and appearing to get away with it. Sometimes classes can be large, and you might feel anonymous. And essay mill websites can make it seem so easy. Remember, academic integrity is about your own personal and professional reputation – protect it! Cheating is not how you want to be known. Trinity takes cheating very seriously and has increasingly sophisticated ways of detecting it. But equally, we take supporting students to avoid cheating seriously also. Reach out to the supports that are available.

Finally, remember that studying at university level is not only about grades, but about your learning. Cheating cheats you of your learning. If you don’t see the link between your overall course and a learning element or an assessment, ask for clarification from your lecturer. Your Academic Tutor or Student Learning Development may be able to help you see the connections also.

Examples of academic misconduct

The National Academic Integrity Network has developed their National Principles and Lexicon of Common Terms. Click below to get more information on each of these.

All the below serve only as examples and are not exhaustive.

Presenting work/ideas taken from other sources without proper acknowledgement. Submitting work as your own for assessment or examination, which has, in fact, been done in whole or in part by someone else or submitting work which has been created artificially, e.g., by a machine or through artificial intelligence where this has not been expressly permitted.

Accidental plagiarism may occur through inadequate or inappropriate citation practice.

Wilful plagiarism happens when thoughts, concepts, or scholarship are left out or misrepresented.

Examples of plagiarism include but are not limited to:

  • Copying another student’s work
  • Enlisting another person or persons to complete an assignment on the student’s behalf
  • Procuring, whether with payment or otherwise, the work or ideas of another
  • Quoting directly, without acknowledgement, from books, articles or other sources, either in printed, recorded or electronic format, including websites and social media
  • Paraphrasing, without acknowledgement, the writings of other authors
  • Using another person’s form of words without quotation marks (this constitutes plagiarism even if the student provides a reference to that person or their work).
  • Presenting another person’s concept or ideas as one’s own without proper acknowledgement
  • Mosaic copying/scaffolding where the key points and structure of another person’s work has been used as a scaffold without acknowledging the source
  • Content generation using artificial intelligence without acknowledgement

Recycling or borrowing content from author’s own previous work without citation and submitting either for an assignment or in an examination. Examples of self-plagiarism include but are not limited to:

  • Resubmitting the same work for more than one assessment or examination
  • Resubmitting blocks of text from previously submitted work for credit without acknowledgement
  • Submitting work previously submitted at another institution without acknowledgement

Undisclosed collaboration of two or more people on an assignment or task, or examination, which is supposed to be completed individually when clear information was provided to the student. This can include external third parties. Examples of collusion includes but are not limited to:

  • Inappropriate or unauthorised collaboration by two or more people in the production and submission of an assessment task or examination
  • Learners providing their work to another learner before the submission deadline, or for the purpose of the other learner’s plagiarism at any time
  • Allowing another (e.g., friend/relative/roommate/classmate/tutor) to write/translate or significantly edit one's assignment without acknowledging that help

Forging educational, research or scholarship content, images, data, equipment or processes in a way that they are inaccurately represented. Examples of falsification/fabrication include, but are not limited to:

  • Altering a graded assessment provided by another person and submitting for re-grade
  • Fabricating data for a lab or research assignment; submitting data you didn't yourself collect
  • Lying/giving a false excuse to miss or receive unfair accommodation on an assessment
  • Forging educational, research or scholarship content, images, data, equipment or processes so that they are inaccurately represented
  • Fabrication in the context of research means making up data, experiments, or other significant information in proposing conducting or reporting research

Action or behaviour that violates established examination rules and gives one learner an unfair advantage over another. Examples of exam cheating include, but are not limited to:

  • Copying from another or allowing another to copy during a supervised exam
  • Having an unapproved aid directly related to the exam (e.g., ‘cheat sheets’; course-related notes; textbook) whether electronically or hard copy
  • Having ubiquitous smart technology (e.g., cell phone, smart watch) accessible during an exam.
  • Communicating with a third party during an examination where this has not been expressly permitted

Actions that are intended to deceive for unfair advantage by violating academic regulations. Using intentional deception to gain academic credit.  

Examples of fraud include but are not limited to:

  • Stealing or fraudulently obtaining answers to an assessment prompt/exam before submitting the assessment for grading
  • Changing/helping to change any recorded assignment or course grade on an instructor's or university record
  • Illicitly obtaining an assessment completed by another (without their knowledge) and submitting it (in part or whole) as one's own
  • Submitting fake or false documents (e.g. medical notes) 

Form of academic misconduct when a person uses an undeclared and/or unauthorised third party, online or directly, to assist them to produce work for academic credit or progression, whether or not payment or other favour is involved. Contract cheating is any behaviour whereby a learner arranges to have another person or entity complete (in part or total) an assessment (e.g. exam, test, quiz, assignment, paper, project, problems) for the learner. If the provider is also a student, both students are in violation.

Contract cheating services prey on students across a range of social media platforms, often pitching themselves as providing ‘student supports’ services.

If you are contacted by a contract cheating service and are unsure what to do you can seek advice from your tutor.